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Roasted Asparagus

(recipe, Deborah Madison)

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Once the shine has worn off the first asparagus of the season, turn to roasting for a surprisingly robust flavor.


  1. 2 lb. asparagus
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil
  3. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. Lemon wedges (optional)
  5. Parmesan or Dry Jack cheese (optional)
  6. Garlic mayonnaise, pesto, or Romesco sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss trimmed, peeled if necessary, asparagus in olive oil to coat lightly, season with salt and pepper and set in a shallow baking dish no more than two stalks deep, with a few tablespoons water. Cover and bake 15 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking until asparagus is tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes depending on its size.
  2. Serve on a platter with such accompaniments as lemon wedges, thin shavings of Parmesan or Dry Jack cheese, garlic mayonnaise, pesto, or rustic salsa Romesco.


Be sure to read Deborah Madison's article on cooking with local and seasonal produce.